Monday, April 02, 2007

Passover seder, and the end of University

Tonight was really fun. Tonight is the start of the Jewish holiday of Passover, where we commemorate the Exodus of Jews from Egypt, and the story of the Jews becoming free from slavery under the Egyptian Pharoah.

Looks like I've got a nice little post here from last year's Passover Seder, when I was in Berkeley and Oakland, California hangin' out with some good friends from work. Check it out.

Tonight we were invited to the Adler's house, a very nice Jewish family and they were awesome and maaaan soooo much fooooooood!!!!!!!!!!! It was really nice of them to have my sister and I over as we didn't have another place to go to for the Seder tonight. Good times. The turkey and the brisket was totally legendary. I ate way too much as expected.

Tomorrow is my last day of school, and in a week or so I've got exams. So of course, Passover happens right during my exam study time, when I've got lots of stuff to do. Passover always seems to occur at an awkward time - I've been traveling, or in Australia, or busy at school, or moving... it's always at a totally inopportune time when I really feel like I should be focusing on lots of other stuff. And that is AWESOME. I think a large point about Pesach is that it's supposed to be extra work, it's supposed to be more effort and not totally straightforward and easy to do. I think this really adds to the importance. I've got a lot of stuff to do, my friends all want to go out for food at the end of term, and most of it I can't eat because it's Passover. So it makes it all the more important to ask myself, 'Hey, why am I going to all this trouble??!!" And that is the WHOLE POINT I think.

Why am I going to all this trouble?? Well I am taking part in an ancient tradition, and commemorating an event that freed my ancestors from slavery. IF the Exodus from Egypt didn't happen, the Jews would still be slaves in Egypt. Instead of living an exciting life here in Canada, finishing off school tomorrow, heading to Europe and then moving to San Francisco to work in the film industry... instead I'd still be building the pyramids. That's a pretty humbling thought.

And I think this idea really drives the point home in my own mind. Sure it's more "effort" to go to a Seder when I am busy, and take part in some of the traditions of Pesach. But, it sure beats the alternative!! And also, the fact that my ancestors were not able to freely practice their religion in safety and that they were not able to live free lives and had to live their life by the rules from their captors... it makes me very happy to be who I am and to be able to have such relative comfort in my life today.

We have to give up bread, yeast, rice, pasta, and a whole bunch of other food this week, and that is sortof like giving up the freedom to eat the kinds of food we usually eat all the time, without thinking about it. At the end of the week, I tell ya, I am ready to eat like 10 loaves of bread. We get so accustomed to living with things, that we can't really imagine what life would be without them.

So I think it's pretty healthy to take some time during this week to really go over in my own mind how lucky I am to be living in these times, and how important it is to realize how good it is to be free.

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